UNITED NATIONS, July 2 (Mehr News Agency) - The Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations has rejected the allegations of mistreatment of three U.S. citizens who were arrested in Iran in 2009, saying they have been held in good conditions and treated fairly and humanely.
Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer, and Joshua Fattal, were arrested on July 31, 2009 by border guards after illegally entering Iran's territory from Iraq's Kurdistan region. The three have been charged with illegal entry and espionage. Shourd was released from prison on bail of $500,000 on September 14, 2010.
The Iranian mission has also criticized the U.S. government for holding dozens of Iranian citizens in severe inhumane conditions in U.S. prisons under false and unproven accusations.
Following is the text of the mission's response to allegations by Sarah Shourd:
In an interview with some members of the media in the United Nations, Ms. Sarah Shourd along with some family members of the two U.S. nationals held in Iran, have made baseless allegations in connection with the conduct and the treatment received by them in Iran. Such allegations were also echoed extensively by U.S. media. This has invoked Public Relation Section of the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations to release a statement in this regard.
We categorically deny Ms. Shourd's recent false claims and the repetition of the same allegations by some family members, about the treatment of the two U.S. citizens by Iranian authorities. The fact that Ms. Shourd has confirmed on numerous occasions in the past about the high standards of welfare and ethics she had been witnessing during her stay in the Islamic Republic of Iran is in clear contradiction with her current allegations.
The sudden changes in Ms. Shourd's claims about the mistreatment of these U.S. nationals by the Iranian authorities are not only strange but also give the impression that she might be under political pressure to come up with such unrealistic allegations.
On September 24, 2010, Ms. Sara Shourd said in an interview with the Associated Press that Mr. Shane Bauer's asking her to marry him as well as the celebration of her 32nd birthday in Iran have been some of the happiest days of her life. She had also stated that the two gentlemen who are still being held in Iran, had persuaded a guard into bringing her a chocolate cake and even found a way to give her a whiff of liberty.
On December 7, 2010, CNN website published an article entitled: "Sara Shourd, A CNN Special" in which Ms. Shourd had said, "When I was in Evin prison in Tehran, a guard brought flowers to my cell twice. Each time I'd hear the door open and looked up to see her standing there with a huge smile and home grown roses. I was speechless with gratitude. When I broke down and cried she (a female guard) would hold me in her arms, look me in the eyes and give me hope."
These are only parts of what Ms. Shourd said about the good treatment and conduct she experienced in Iran. So far the two U.S. nationals held in Tehran have had at least consular contacts four times, one time visit of their first degree family members while staying in one of Tehran's most luxurious hotels. They have also made several phone conversations and continuously received books and letters from their families.
The case of the three U.S. citizens is being handled exclusively by the Iranian Judiciary system. The Judicial Branch of the Islamic Republic of Iran is an independent body which will oversee the case and make the decisions according to the national law. It is worth mentioning that any attempt to politicize the matter beyond its legal nature would be harmful and useless.
The Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations would like to use this opportunity to bring to the public attention the critical situation of the Iranian citizens imprisoned in the U.S. under false and unproven accusations. Most of these people were arrested and brought to the U.S using entrapments by U.S. agencies which by itself could be considered an unlawful act when compared with the established principles of international law.
Several reports have indicated that their health conditions are critical and they have been deprived from basic necessities such as consular contact and being provided with blankets.
Up until now, U.S. authorities have not come up with any convincing information clarifying the situation of the Iranian citizens held in U.S custody.
As an example, it is worth reminding that the conditions pertaining to Mrs. Shahrazad Mirgholi Khan, a young Iranian lady who is a mother of two girls, was only brought to the attention of U.S. government officials after the deterioration of her health conditions and upon relentless efforts. She is still suffering from poor conditions in prison. Reports on other Iranian nationals held in U.S prisons do not give a more favorable picture, either.
Shahrazad Mirgholi Khan with her twins
In conclusion, it is reiterated that considering the unclear and deplorable conditions of some Iranian prisoners in the U.S. and the unresponsiveness of the relevant authorities of this country and the fact that this issue has been brought to the attention of Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, the Islamic Republic of Iran calls on the United Nations, as the responsible entity, to play an effective role in this regard, to remove the obstacles to consular contacts and to clarify the fate of the imprisoned Iranians in the United States.
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